Kaiser Permanente names Comer chief IT officer


Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente on Wednesday named Diane Comer as its new chief information technology officer.

Comer, who will also serve as an executive vice president, has held the role of interim chief information officer for Kaiser’s hospitals and health plans since June, overseeing much of the organization’s IT work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kaiser, like many health systems, experienced rapid growth in virtual care over the past year. Before the pandemic, about 15% of scheduled outpatient visits at Kaiser were conducted virtually; as of late 2020, that figure was closer to 50%.

Comer replaces Dick Daniels, who in June retired from his roles as executive vice president and chief information officer at Kaiser after five years.

As chief IT officer, Comer will lead the organization’s digital transformation strategy, including efforts to improve consumer and employee experience with technology. She will oversee a team of more than 6,000 employees.

Comer will report directly to Kaiser’s chair and chief executive officer, Greg A. Adams.

Comer, who joined Kaiser in 2007, previously led IT for Kaiser’s health plan business, including implementing technology needed to support the Affordable Care Act and health insurance exchanges at Kaiser and developing a telephony system that now supports roughly 1 million calls per month to the organization’s contact centers, according to Kaiser.

Before joining Kaiser, Comer served as chief technology officer at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.

Kaiser in 2020 operated on a slightly slimmer margin as pandemic-related job losses shifted more of its members from commercial plans to government-sponsored plans. It generated $2.2 billion in operating income on $88.7 billion in revenue in 2020, or a 2.5% margin, compared with $2.7 billion in operating income on $84.5 billion in revenue, or a 3.2% margin, in 2019.


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